rockyOne apple, quarter pineapple, one lemon, cayenne pepper and water or ice.

Healthy and fresh start to the day that enables me to deal with whatever Vet HQ decides to dish up today. I write this with a heavy heart as yesterday we had to deal with the awful circumstances of a new pet being impaled on a garden fence post. Interestingly as I read over my puppy proofing notes we hand out to new clients there is nothing in them that states to check your garden for exposed posts, pipes or power cables. Many people joke about the dog being an expert gardener digging holes and always checking the watering system. Sometimes it is not a joke!

Please let us all start a fresh new spring and check the garden for anything that might be dangerous. When I did my first pre natal class the midwife said get down on your hands and knees in the house and look from the perspective of a baby. So I need all of you to get down on your hands and knees and look around the garden and the entire house for anything that could potentially be a risk to your pet and modify it. Never make the same mistake again – the old Lisa Simpson trick with the electrocuted cupcake.

Puppies are naturally inquisitive, which can often lead to serious injury; here are some tips on how you can make your house safer for the new arrival.

* Puppies will chew anything when teething always keep electrical wires out of reach, or use a pet-repellent spray.

* If it will fit in your puppy’s mouth, it’s dangerous. Watch out for things like – cigarette butts, rubber bands, balloons, sewing needles, ribbons, pantyhose etc Because what goes in must come out, often via surgery.

* Common household products can be potential killers. Store all cleaning agents and poisons etc up high, in tightly sealed cupboards and containers.

* Never give your pet human medications unless directed to do so by your vet. Some human medications like sleeping pills, antihistamines and aspirins etc could be dangerous.

* Personal care items such as cosmetics, shampoos, skin creams, hair “perm” solutions, depilatories and suntan lotions etc, can also be harmful if ingested.

* Some plants and weeds – such as oleander and wandering dew can cause bad allergies and even be poisonous. If you treat your lawn with chemicals, your plants with fertilizer or use snail/rat baits keep your pets away. Read and follow label directions carefully.

* Chocolate can be deadly, it contains theobromine, a powerful stimulant that is toxic to pets. Cakes and biscuits can also upset your puppy’s stomach leading to diarrheoa or vomiting, which can be serious.

* Never give your pet cooked bones as a treat. Once cooked they can splinter & cause serious injury. If you want to give your puppy a treat try a raw chicken wing, liver treats or specific doggy chocolate.

* Collars and harnesses can be rapidly outgrown, leading to serious wounds if not adjusted or replaced.

* Watch out for hot irons, heaters and fans etc. Always use a fireplace screen when enjoying an open fire.

* Cover or fence off swimming pools and spas.

* Get down on your hands and knees in the house and garden and check for anything that may pose a risk to your dog and modify it. For example – exposed wires, fence posts, or sharp metal objects.

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